Addressing Depression in Your Personal Statement

October 06, 2016

Did you know 20% of teenagers experience depression before reaching adulthood? It is also during this time that college applicants have to answer the most intimate question in order to gain acceptance at their dream school. What defines you?

While it may feel extremely vulnerable to talk about your experience with depression, don’t let that immediately deter you from choosing it as your personal statement essay topic. Here are 5 examples that may help you approach the topic in an essay:

Rtian1

UC Irvine ‘17

Throughout the past few years, I have gone through depression. The inability to focus not only in school, but also in life, is something I have struggled to overcome. The majority of the time, I am able to successfully distinguish my emotions from my academics because of my overly organized tendencies. At other times, the feelings that come with depression are inevitable. Depression, for me, is hopelessness. My biggest struggle with depression is not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel; therefore, this way of thinking has caused me to feel unmotivated, alone, and frightened. Because of this, I have spent endless nights contemplating my life till 4 or 5 in the morning, I have no motivation to wake up in the mornings, and I feel pain and grief on a daily basis. Keep reading.

Brittanybea

UC Berkeley ‘19

On a warm August morning I sat shivering and shaking in the waiting room to my doctor’s office. I had my mother make the appointment but didn’t give her the reason; I’m not even sure I really knew the reason. I just knew something was wrong. The past five years had been all uphill - outwardly, at least. I was doing increasingly well in school, growing more independent, and had greater opportunities at my feet. Inwardly, however, was an entirely different story. Those five years felt like an upbeat movie I was watching while in my own personal prison. I was happy for the characters, even excited for their accomplishments. The problem was that my outward self was a character entirely distinct from the internal me. View full essay.

869749923096609FB

Williams College ‘19

Perhaps the greatest blessing my parents have ever granted me was the move from our apartment in the Bronx to a two-family home in Queens, two blocks away from a public library. The library had all the boons my young heart could desire: bounties of books, air conditioning in the summer, and sweet solace from a dwelling teeming with the cries of an infant sister, a concept I couldn’t yet fathom. Read more.

Dweeb1996

Vassar ‘19

When I was younger, people chided me for being pessimistic. It was my sincere belief that there were no rewards to be reaped from a life here on earth. I was bored, unhappy, and apathetic. War, injustice, environmental collapse, the mean thing X said to me the other day-it all made me see the world as a tumultuous and unpleasant place. Continue reading. 

879216135461584FB

NYU ‘18

Dish soap, pepper, a toothpick, and an empty pie tin. The first materials I ever used to perform a simple experiment in grade school. Looking back that would be the moment I fell in love with science. I can still feel the excitement I felt as I watched as the pepper dart off to the edges of the pie tin as I touched the water with the end of a soap coated toothpick. Though I didn’t have to question how or why the reaction happened, I never stopped wondering. It was then that a passion for science ignited in me. It was a fire in my soul that could never die out. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. As I grew older, the fire within me began to dim and in the year 2012, it became extinguished; the world as I knew it had ended. View full profile.

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While this essay topic helped these students gain acceptances to UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, Williams, Vassar and NYU, it doesn’t mean it will work in the exact same way for you. Brainstorm and think carefully about what you want to write in your personal statement and how you want to share your own, unique story. For more inspiration, AdmitSee has a database of 60,000+ successful college applications files waiting for you! 

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.

 




Browse Successful Application Files

katiedolci
NYU ‘19


Accepted to NYU, BU, Ohio State

Chicago-->Cincinnati-->New York City. Dancer. Rower. Volunteer. Future Teacher.
RyanL20
UC Berkeley ‘20


Accepted to UC Berkeley, CMU, UCLA, UCSD, UC Irvine, UC Davis, UCSC, Purdue, Illinois

Freshman at UC Berkeley. I am majoring in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS). I love playing badminton, machine learning, and working with robotics.
dhyun15
NYU ‘19


Accepted to Indiana, UMich, NYU

NYU Freshman - attending its undergrad Stern business school. Planning on studying Information Systems. Love lifting and listening to metal/hard rock/techno. Looking forward to joining a dance group in college :)
CogsOfSteel
UC Berkeley ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, UCSD, Amherst, UCLA, Cooper Union

Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science major, with a hobby in firearms and the shooting sports and a strong passion for creative writing.

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